Minnesota Law

Summer 2021
All Rise

LL.M. Student Henrique Beux Nassif Azem, a Federal Attorney for Brazil

Henrique Beux Nassif Azem, a federal attorney for Brazil, recently obtained his Master in Law degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Azem has an understanding of five languages and already has several published works to his credit. His goal is to become a professor of law in his home country.

You just completed a Master in Law degree at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. What motivated you to pursue an LL.M., and why at Minnesota Law?

I really like to study and to deepen my knowledge about Law. My studies so far have been focused on constitutional law, legal history and jurisprudence. My home country has been influenced a lot by the U.S. Constitution since its 1891 Constitution. So, for me, there is nothing more natural than to expand my understanding of the American legal system.

I chose Minnesota Law because it has a broad variety of courses, including ones from my field of study. It is a top-ranked school, and it is also well located in the Twin Cities. 

You have understanding of five different languages. Could you list them? 

Portuguese (my mother tongue), Spanish, English, Italian, and I am struggling with German. I am also able to read in French, but not to speak it (yet). 

Can you describe some of the publications you have written/ been involved with?

I have published an article about the Commerce Clause and its evolution through the U.S. legal history by the main decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. I have also published an article on the civil servants’ right to strike in a comparison study of the Brazilian and German legal framework. I have also published an article about what we call in Brazil “medidas provisórias” (provisional measures), something like executive orders in the United States within the powers of the president, and how they are interpreted by the Federal Supreme Court in Brazil. And I am glad to say I am working on a publication about a topic that I worked on my master’s dissertation, about asymmetrical and symmetrical federalism.  

Minnesota Law is a place known for putting an emphasis on leadership. What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means taking a position in society that may help people to be in a better position than they were before. That includes being an attorney, a scholar, working for the government, as an in-house counselling, or for non-profit organizations. The areas in which an attorney can work are very broad, and leadership is a necessary characteristic we all have to have. 

What are your hobbies/interests?

I like reading history and philosophy books. Playing tennis is one of my favorite hoddies, as well as watching soccer games, especially my hometown team, Gremio, and Brazil’s national team.  I am also interested in helping people and communities to know their rights, and teaching. 

How do you plan to spend your free time in Minnesota/ the United States?

Go to some Minnesota United games, maybe a couple of Viking’s games (not many, because I am a Packers fan). Explore used bookstores and libraries around the Twin Cities. And in the winter practice my (non-existent) ice-fishing skills. 

What three words best describe you?

Compromise, engage, and enjoy. 

What are you most looking forward to in your time at Minnesota Law?

I am looking for a close interaction with the faculty staff in classes and activities at Mondale Hall, performing research about topics of my own interest in the Law Library, and getting close to the American legal system in general.